Six Unspectacular Quirks

The lovely Sarah over at Sarah’s Musings has a fun meme up on her blog. And since I’m trying to kill a little time before I go home from work, I thought I’d steal it from her! The rules are:

* Link the person who tagged you (CHECK!)
* Mention the rules in your blog (CHECK!)
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours (CHECK!)
* Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking them (I’m breaking the rules on this one – if you want to do it, by all means do and let me know, though!)

1) Seeing any kind of “-tini” on a menu (e.g., appletini, chocolate martini, etc.) makes me cringe. A martini is gin and vermouth. If you’re mixing up something else, give it a name and call it a cocktail.

2) I can’t go to bed with dirty feet. A lot of times (especially during the summer), I prefer to shower in the evening, but if I don’t I have to at least wash my feet before bed. Along those same lines, on the days that I change the sheets, I always take a shower or bath before bed.

3) I am a stickler for promptness. I am always on time (well, with the boys I am always within five minutes at least), and I expect that from other people. It’s not hard to call if you’re going to be 15-20 minutes late. I’m always amazed by the parents that show up late for events. Get it together, people! It’s not hard!

4) I love anything and everything food & wine related. I will try almost anything once. I remember ordering squab in France and I was so hesitant about my choice. As it turned out, that was one of my favorite meals while we were there! I like to take chances.

5) Although I have a well-known obsession with fun socks, I also really like to be barefoot or wear sandals or flip flops. I have far too many pairs, LOL!

6) I have to get dressed every day. It doesn’t matter if I’m home with the kids or sick, I never stay in my pyjamas. Even if I just put on jeans and a nice tee-shirt and a little bit of make-up, I immediately feel better. I guess I’m a bit of a girly-girl that way. I think that living with a houseful of boys has had an effect on me.

So there you have it!

Less Than A Quarter!

CVS Loot 5/26

The other day my friend Justin asked what’s with me and CVS, so I’m dedicating this post to him 😉 Go ahead and make fun of me… I don’t mind, LOL.

Anyway, I went to CVS on Monday to grab a couple of their Memorial Day specials. I spent $0.24 out of pocket for everything in the photo, plus one (missing) bottle of Diet Coke for a very thirsty and patient husband. I used $9.79 in ECBs and $4.69 in coupons. I got $6 back in ECBs. Not too shabby! I should start taking the amount I save and depositing it into our savings accounts. I bet that would start to accumulate pretty quickly!

To check out more great deals, visit Super Savings Saturday and CVS Superstars!

If You’re PMS-y And You Know It Clap Your Hands!

*Clap! Clap!* Something you shouldn’t do when your PMSy is look at old photo albums. I was looking at some really old ones yesterday (from when I was just born up until about 3 years old) and good grief if I didn’t get weepy. The photos from my 2nd birthday was pretty funny, though. Man, my mom had some stylin’ maternity clothes in 1977! 😉 Actually they were very stylish for the time, I am sure. I was rockin’ the yellow ruffles myself so who am I to talk? I’m one of those people who cry over pretty much anything sentimental anyway, so throw some freaky hormones into the mix and… well, it wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of mascara smudging and I’ll just leave it at that. Just makes you realize how fast time goes by. Here are a few that I really like:

Me and my mommy, sometime in the fall of 1975:
My Mommy :-)

Hanging out on the sawhorse with my dad:
Dad & Me

Rockin’ the ruffles:
Rockin' the Ruffles and Turning 2

Mike seems to be trying to escape here:
Me & Mike

Dad’s birthday, ’77 or ’78. I totally remember helping make this cake:
Dad's birthday

My makeup skills have not improved much since then:

Hopefully I didn’t bore you with my stroll down memory lane. I love looking at people’s photos, especially old ones, so if you have any hanging around and care to embarass your immediate family as well, comment here 🙂

CSA Distribution #1

CSA Distribution #1

Hooray! Today was the first pickup for our farm share. We’re members of Sisters Hill Farm in Stanfordville and I have been waiting for this moment for months! I’ve been keeping up with the blogs written by two of the interns (Farmer Erin and From The Ground Up) and I have such an appreciation for these delicious vegetables. When we were kids, my Uncle Frank had a huge (and I mean HUGE) garden and probably everything we ate during the summer came from it. (I’m sure my brother will attest to the overabundance of yellow string beans every year — to this day I am not crazy about them because we had so many of them!). It’s great to have a little of that back this season. Though it might not be grown exactly in my backyard, it’s local, fresh, and organic. And not to mention delicious! Unfortunately I was kind of rushing around this afternoon, so the boys didn’t get to see the chickens or explore the farm at all, but hopefully there will be time next week. Here’s what we got:

– .75 lb. salad greens
– .75 lb. arugala
– .75 lb. spinach
– .50 lb. tatsoi (or red mustard greens)
– 1 bunch of radishes (or turnips)
– 1 head of lettuce

Afterwards, we picked up dinner (pepperoni pizza for the boys and a cheese calzone for me) and I enjoyed a fresh salad alongside it. I only wished I had a bottle of wine open tonight. (The chardonnay I got from that wine of the month club back in the fall would have been yummy with the fresh greens). I am also resisting the urge to eat the entire bunch of radishes. I promised Drew I’d save him a couple!

Now to find some recipes…

Surprise for Jake

I love having little surprises for Jake when he gets home from school. It doesn’t happen all the time of course, but today I’ve got a good one for him. He will be really excited about it, too! Late this morning Drew’s dad called me (he lives in Florida) to see what we’re going the week of June 19th. Drew’s stepmom is going to be up in NJ quite a bit for work, and Drew’s dad thought he’d tag along with her for a week. So one day during that week he’s going to come up for the day. We don’t get to see him very often because of the distance, so this will be a real treat for Jake. And my father-in-law just wanted to make sure the timing would work out for us so he could see what is out there for cheap flights. That will be fun!

Long Weekend

I hope you all had wonderful Memorial Day holiday weekends (applicable only to those in the U.S., though). Ours was really nice and I’m trying so hard to get back into the swing of things today. Yesterday we went to the parade over in Rhinebeck, like we do every year. It was a lot of fun because Rhinebeck Little League and a local karate school marched so Jake saw a few of his friends. (Little League assigns teams by zip code, not school district, so he got put in a different league with a few other kids from this side of town.) I feel like everyone was throwing even more candy than ever before. Seriously — it was like Halloween, only you didn’t have to go door-to-door! The weather was just gorgeous — an absolutely perfect day for a parade. After it was over we had lunch at Del’s (a local drive-in type of restaurant). We thought it was going to be packed, but we were one of the first people there. We then realized that the way the roads were closed off, it didn’t make it easy to get over there, so most of the weekenders probably lunched right in town. Meanwhile, we enjoyed some yummy hot dogs, cheese fries and soft-serv ice cream cones. So good!

After lunch we went to Home Depot for more pavers. Drew is making a small patio up by the kids’ swingset. We have a small bistro set up there and the patio blocks will look so pretty. We came home and set up the pool for the boys and they splashed around while we enjoyed gin & tonics. For dinner I make ribs, grilled pineapple, and cole slaw. It was just a fun, relaxing day.

Now I’m trying to tackle my to-do list. I’ve got one item crossed off (using one of my trusty personalized pens, of course). Does that count for anything? I really need to rally though and get some of this stuff done. I will probably order a pizza for dinner tonight because today is our first CSA pickup!!! The farm is just down the road from where we usually get pizza, so that will work out great. I’ll update later with a photo of the delicious veggies in our first distribution. I can’t wait!

A Decade? Really?

Although in just under two weeks Drew & I will be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, today is our 10th dating anniversary! That’s right, 10 years ago today I took the Commuter Rail out to Framingham for an afternoon picnic with the guy from Rosemary Caine. (Because seriously — I am not the type of girl who would go for a futures broker or doctor or lawyer. No thanks, I’ve always preferred the creative types.) Rosemary Caine was a band from Amherst College and I love, love, loved their music. Love. Still do. Drew made us ham and cheese sandwiches, cucumber salad, and this crazy dessert with chocolate pudding and peanut butter and carried it all in his vintage houndstooth-check paper suitcase.

We got along fabulously. I spilled a glass of wine in his lap (and I believe I broke the wine glass). And a gentle soul named Billy kept bothering us riding his bike over to talk to us. There was a halfway house nearby for folks who are mentally challenged, and he told us that is where he lived. He also predicted that we would get married. (Remember – it was our first date!)

Well, we never did find an address to send Billy an invitation, but three years later we tied the knot.

Kisses, sweetie! Here’s to many more years of spilling wine on your lap 😉

Chicken Scarpariello

chicken scarpariello

I’m not sure where I had my first taste of chicken scarpariello, though I do know that somehow my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law were involved in the process. It very well could have been at the annual St. Augustine Italian Festival. Ossining Pizza also makes a delicious chicken scarpariello pizza that I haven’t had in ages. I’ve been craving this spicy dish lately and there are dozens of completely different recipes for it floating around online. Some didn’t even sound remotely like the version I’ve always had. So, I consulted my Sopranos cookbook (don’t laugh – some of the recipes in it are excellent!) and used the recipe in it as a jumping-off point. I tweaked it around a bit and came up with this:

Chicken Scarpariello
6 Hot Italian sausages (or 3 hot/3 sweet)
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup hot cherry peppers, cut in half
1 cup mild cherry peppers, cut in half
1/2 cup brine from mild cherry peppers (or vinegar)
1/4 cup chicken broth
olive oil
dry white wine (did not measure), optional

Prick sausages with a fork and bring to a boil. (I do this to remove some of the grease before adding them to my dish). Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat enough olive oil in a pan to cook the chicken breast cubes, and saute until golden brown. After sausage have boiled for a few minutes, drain and cut into 1-inch chunks. Once chicken has cooked (approx. 10 minutes), add garlic and sausage. Sautee 3-4 minutes. Add hot peppers, mild peppers, brine, and chicken broth. Simmer for 5 minutes and give a taste. Adjust seasoning and add a splash of dry white wine if you desire. Simmer another 10 minutes to reduce sauce.

I like to serve this with thin spaghetti. I’ve also had a version that includes potatoes, in which case you’d have an all-in-one meal. The verdict: HOLY SPICY, BATMAN! This was so hot I was actually sweating. Lucky for me I like spicy food. Next time I think I would use both types of sausage instead of just the hot, and I would also cut the peppers into smaller pices. I’ll be honest: I only cut them in half because it made for a pretty presentation. I also might add the potatoes next time to see if they soak up a little of the heat. All in all, though, it was really delicious and I’m looking forward to perfecting this recipe!

Thank goodness I’m not on *THAT* Jury!

I feel so bad for those jurors on the R. Kelly trial. How gross: they have to watch the 25-minute sex tape! You can read the article on CNN. I’m not linking to it because sometimes when I link to CNN, the post gets trackbacked and I get werido comments. I have to imagine that when they chose the jury for this they made sure they picked people who wouldn’t take issue watching something like that. But seriously – how do you prepare yourself? All I can think of is Dave Chappelle’s hilarious spoof (definitely NOT safe for work or anywhere near kids!). Somehow I doubt that the real tape is anywhere near as funny (in a potty humor kind of way, of course).

Ew. Just… Ew.

The Merlot Murders

merlotmmsm.jpgA few months ago, I was reading Amy’s blog and took a look at her sidebar, which listed a few books she’d recently read. One title grabbed my attention: The Chardonnay Charade. I looked it up and found out that it was the second book in a mystery series located at a Virginia winery. Wine! Mystery! Yes! I quickly found a copy of the first book in the series, The Merlot Murders, and ordered it (love Paperback Swap!). It was a fun, quick read. I review it over on my wine blog if you are interested. I’m looking forward to picking up the next book in the series. Great, easy reading.